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Published On: Fri, Nov 30th, 2012

Homeland Security adds underwater fishlike drone, looks at other animal inspired robots

The latest weapon in Homeland Security’s increasingly high-tech arsenal, an underwater robotic fish designed to safeguard the coastline of America.

The new robot, named BioSwimmer, is actually based on a tuna which is said to have the ideal natural shape for an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV).

This new drone has a number of security applications, this high maneuverability makes it perfectly suited for accessing hard-to-reach places such as flooded areas of ships, sea chests and parts of oil tankers.

BioSwimmer uses the latest battery technology for long-duration operation and boasts an array of navigation, sensor processing, and communications equipment designed for constricted spaces.

It is being developed by Boston Engineering Corporation’s Advanced Systems Group (ASG) basesd in Waltham, Massachusetts.

David Taylor, program manager for the project at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security told Fox News: ‘It’s all about distilling the science. It’s called ‘biomimetics.

‘We’re using nature as a basis for design and engineering a system that works exceedingly well.

‘Tuna have had millions of years to develop their ability to move in the water with astounding efficiency. Hopefully we won’t take that long.’

BioSwimmer is also capable of operating in high viscocity fluids such as crude oil, which could make it a valuable tool for off-shore drilling operations.

Check out some other “animal like” drones:

SmartBird, which was inspired by the herring seagull and created by scientists at technology firm Festo, has been deemed so realistic it could be mistaken for the real thing.

Boston Dynamics LS3 AlphaDog, a four-legged, autonomous robot that can follow a soldier like a cross between a faithful hound and a pack mule.

(See more below)

This incredible machine can stand upright, walk for 20 miles without a break and carry up to 400 pounds.

Another impressive design from the Boston Dynamics stable is a robot cheetah which, funded by the US Military, has set a new speed record for legged robots by sprinting at 28.3 mph – faster than Olympic sprint champ Usain Bolt.

Researchers at Harvard University are perfecting their incredible robot fly which weighs just 60 milligrams and has a wingspan of three centimeters.

This tiny robot’s movements are modeled on those of a real fly. While much work remains to be done on the mechanical insect, the researchers say that such small flying machines could one day be used as spies, or for detecting harmful chemicals.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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